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EXCLUSIVE! Katie Schwartz is changing her life, one day at a time (and sharing her journey on TikTok)

What if we told you that you could change your life by coloring, making coffee and playing board games?

Seems easy (and, tbh, too good to be true), but it turns out focusing on the little things can have a *big* impact. Just ask Katie Schwartz, creator of the viral TikTok series "365 Days of Changing What My Life Looks Like."

On a mission to reconnect with herself and improve her mental health after moving cities, Katie started doing one little thing each day to bring herself joy—and documenting it on social media.

From making seasonal simmer pots to visiting flower farms to painting watercolors by the lake, Katie has brainstormed plenty of ideas to make her life more fun (and gained over 100K TikTok followers while doing it, nbd). We sat down with the ultimate good vibes girlie to get the inspo behind her videos and her top tips for adding a little happiness to your own day at a time.

Girls' Life: What inspired you to start making this series?

Katie: I was so hyperfocused on the big movements, like "What's my next job?" and "Where do I want to live long term?" instead of just living in the present moment. I realized that I didn't have any hobbies, and I didn't really know who I was anymore. I didn't know how I liked to spend my time or what I liked to do for fun. So I decided to make it a mission for myself to not only try new things, but also do things I used to like that I don't do anymore. And I figured if I document it, it'll hold me accountable.

@katierynn this is going to a big challenge but i’m so excited about it #changingmylife #manifestation #innerchildhealing #hobbies #healingjourney #mentalhealth ♬ original sound - katie rynn

GL: What are some of the things you've done in your series?

Katie: I basically think about when I'm the best version of myself: What does that girl do? How does she spend her time? What does she enjoy? Some of the things I've done are build a fort and have pancakes for dinner—something I used to love doing as a kid. Or learning to rollerblade. Now I do it multiple times a week, and it's become a hobby of mine.

GL: How do you keep coming up with ideas?

Katie: I try to think about connecting with my inner child. Like, OK, I loved coloring—so what are the adult coloring books out there these days? I also look at other people in my everyday life, or celebrities or influencers where I'm like, "Who's living a life that I feel aligned with?" And I'll see that maybe they decided to make simmer pot, so I'll make a simmer pot. And I've seen other influencers make Christmas ornaments, so I did that, too.


GL: OK, gonna go make a simmer pot right now. Do you have a favorite thing you've done so far?

Katie: Something that sticks out to me was when I created a garland out of oranges. It reminded me how important arts and crafts are. They put you in a state of meditation, whether it's coloring or painting or working with dried oranges and sewing them together. I've been struggling the past few years with how to connect to my creative side when I'm not something obvious like a singer, an actress or a writer—and that sparked the idea of doing more arts and crafts.

GL: What has this TikTok series taught you?

Katie: That focusing on the little things actually *does* change your life. And when you're so present in the everyday, you unconsciously manifest things—the things you aren't stressing about anymore fall into place.

@katierynn Day 56/365: making my own Christmas ornaments! I own zero Christmas decor and was overwhelmed by the thought of buying things so I decided to bring my Pinterest board to life and take it into my own hands. I LOVE how they turned out!! #holidaycrafts #overconsumption #changingmylife #pinterestinspired #sustainableholiday ♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono - moshimo sound design

GL: What's been the best part of sharing your journey on TikTok?

Katie: Connecting with people! I have made real-life friends because of my TikTok account. I've had people DM me, telling me about how my series has inspired them to find joy in the little things. People will tag me in posts that show me what they're doing. It's such a beautiful, fun thing to be able to connect with other people and know you're not alone.

GL: Any advice you'd give to girls who want to try this out for themselves?

Katie: Don't overthink it—you can start small! If you don't journal, but you think journaling could change your life, wake up 10 minutes earlier and do a gratitude journal. And also, just try to connect with your inner child, because we're all just children at heart. We want to laugh and have fun, and the best way to do that is to reconnect with childhood joy. 

Follow Katie on TikTok @katierynn for more happiness inspo!

Note: Parts of this interview have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Top and slider image: @katierynn


by Kathleen O'Neill | 2/29/2024